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Kindergartner sells hot cocoa, cookies to clear classmates’ lunch debt

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VISTA, Calif. -- One kind act from a 5-year-old is touching the lives of hundreds of students.

When Katelynn Hardee learned some families struggle to pay off their children's lunch balances at school, she decided she had to do something to help.

It started when she overheard another student's mother mention she was struggling to pay for something.

"She's very inquisitive," said Katelynn's mother, Karina Hardee. "So she started asking me a bunch of questions and I tried to answer as best as I could without too much for a 5-year-old, and just explained to her that some people aren't as fortunate as us."

That's when a plan formed in Katelynn's mind. "I can give money to the lunch people so they'll have money," she said.

Inspired by the lemonade stands she does during the summer, Katelynn asked her mom if she could organize a hot cocoa and cookie stand. She baked the cookies and made the hot cocoa herself, then spent three hours over the weekend selling her homemade goods.

On Monday, her mom sprang into action to see how they could donate the money to the school.

"I just left a note saying my daughter held a hot cocoa fundraiser over the weekend and would love to donate the money to any of the negative accounts," Hardee said.

The money Katelynn raised ended up paying off the lunch balances for 123 students.

"So they can lunch and snack," Katelynn explained.

Her mother told FOX 5 she has been inspired by her daughter's kind heart and seeing the ripple effect it has had in the school and beyond. "Her actions do create awesomeness!" she exclaimed.

Katelynn was presented with an award at school to honor her act of kindness.

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